This material has been developed to accompany:

Using Search Engines 


HotBot AltaVista

Activity     Search Strategies in HotBot

In the first activity, we will look for recent information (that is, within the last six months) on the Shining Path, a revolutionary group in Peru. Before we get online, we will follow Steps 1 through 5 of the basic search strategy as we formulate the main ideas of our search.

Now we're ready to go online and search HotBot. We'll follow these steps, which closely correspond to Steps 6 through 9 of the basic search strategy:

  1. Go to the home page for HotBot.
  2. Read the search instructions on HotBot's home page (Step 6).
  3. Create a search expression using syntax appropriate for HotBot (Step 7).
  4. Evaluate the results (Step 8).
  5. Using the Find function, search a Web page for the keywords Shining Path or Sendero Luminoso (Step 8).
  6. Modify the search by limiting it to educational sites only, and view the results (Step 9).

(See the book for the details.)

Activity     Search Strategies in AltaVista´s Simple Search Mode

Since we already followed Steps 1 through 4 of the basic search strategy in Activity 1 by determining the keywords and search features (phrases, synonyms, Boolean logic, and so forth), and since we chose the search engine (Step 5), we can proceed to Steps 6 through 9. We will take the following steps in this activity:

(See the book for the details.)

Activity     Finding Specific Information in Excite

We´re going to search Excite Excite´s search engine covers the entire Web. Excite is large and powerful and is mostly full-text, in that it ignores certain words, such as articles and prepositions. Excite supports concept searching; that is, the search engine automatically searches for synonyms of the words you enter. For example, if you asked for teenager, it might return results with the word adolescent as well.

In this activity, we are going to do a couple of different searches, one on a person's name and the other on a line of poetry. First, we´ll search Excite's database for information, and hopefully for a bibliography, of the works of the writer Saki.

Before going online, we have done our homework and have learned that Saki is also known as H.H. Munro, Hector Munro, or Hector H. Munro. After we do that search, we´ll look for the poem with the line "Till human voices wake us, and we drown."

We'll follow these steps:

(See the book for details)


HotBot AltaVista

Visit Searching and Researching on the Internet and the WWW for more information about using the Internet for doing research and finding what you need.

This material has been developed to accompany: by Ernest Ackermann and Karen Hartman, and published by Franklin, Beedle and Associates, Incorporated, Wilsonville OR.

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Ernest Ackermann Department of Computer Science, Mary Washington College, University of Mary Washington